“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” Every day, the evil queen asks its magic mirror this question to comfort herself that she, the queen, is still the fairest and most beautiful of them all. Many grew up reading or watching the famous Snow White story when they were kids. The queen had this self-conscious issue and needed reassurance from the magic mirror. She created her own competition when she allowed herself to be compared to others and wanted to be the fairest of them all. Such a high standard was impossible to compete against, as one can never be the fairest of all, especially when such a condition is purely subjective and built on taste and personal opinions. Her lack of self-confidence and insecurity made her not see her real value and instead see the value in the eyes of others, her magical mirror in this case.
In today’s corporate world, we all have two mirrors that reflect who we are; i) one that reflects the way we see and measure ourselves and ii) one that reflects the way others see our value. Knowing your personal-brand essence and living up to it, and making sure others see you through those values means you can successfully meet or exceed your personal brand perception in your own eyes and that of others. We subconsciously tend to assess and categorize others in our heads, and we thus treat them based on our assumptions and readings, regardless of whether it is right or wrong. Hence, how we project ourselves in the eyes of others and how we carry ourselves in society, our success stories, achievements, and interactions with others are how others perceive us. In other words, we control the narrative, and only when our self-awareness is on par with our values can we make sure the man (or woman) seen reflected in the mirror of the world is the same person behind the mirror.
The man/woman behind the mirror, you, should be able to know your self-worth and value in the corporate world, measured by your skillset, achievements, successes, and attitude. It would be best if you learned how to reflect that on your persona so others can see you the way you see yourself.
The problem will be if others see you as more significant than you see yourself, which means you don’t have the confidence and self-trust to do something while your boss or the surrounding corporate community knows you can. In this case, it is a self-confidence issue that requires you to work on your self-awareness ASAP and revisit the objectives, values, and standards you live by in your daily life. There are several methods to ensure that the man behind the mirror is the same as the one in the mirror that people see. It all starts with your level conscious and awareness. The alter ego techniques are also beneficial in dealing with such insecurities and gaining confidence, and I wrote about it extensively in a previous post titled “Be Like Superman.” I would suggest that you consider the following steps.
- Have an Executive Mentor. One who can be your compass, mirror your inner abilities and help you realize them.
- Self-Assessment Exercise. There are many tools and solutions to help you do that online, and in all cases, writing such points down will increase your self-awareness as ideas always sound different in our heads vs. when we write them down.
- Expand Your Horizon. Read a book, take a course, and work on finding your life mission, objectives, and values.
As the FII conference laid its curtains last week, I had time to relax and reflect on our work. A few nights ago, I had dinner with a close friend, who I also see as a mentor. He was praising last week’s FII6 conference and my leadership in delivering this mammoth event, and of course, I was downplaying my role, being as modest as possible. My reaction triggered him to diminish my humble attitude, and he asked me to look into the mirror closely and realize what this person in the mirror had just achieved last week and comprehend the magnitude and impact of FII.
I urge you all to stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself, who do you see?
“I’m gonna make a change,
For once in my life,
It’s gonna feel real good,
Gonna make a difference,
Gonna make it right.”
- Michael Jackson’s Song “Man In The Mirror”